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Ruth Pagenkopf photograph albums

Identifier: RHC-125

Scope and Contents

Album 1, 174 x 314 cm. 31 leaves. Black textured cloth with ”Photographs” stamped in gold on the front cover; back cover missing. Contains 145 black-and-white photographs (a few duplicates) all affixed with corner mounts, with captions written in white ink; inclusive dates are 1923 to 1927. Subjects include Ruth and her parents; her aunt, uncle, and cousins (Frey family); friends; and pets. Locations include Wausau, Mayville, The Dells, Little Rib Creek, Yellow Banks Park, and Rib Mountain, all in Wisconsin; Fort Madison and Burlington, Iowa.

Four additional leaves from another album containing 14 photographs may be from another family unrelated to the Pagenkopfs. These date from around 1916 and relate to the Schaeffer and Meyers families, possibly in Ottawa and Earlville, Illinois.

Album 2, 230 x 202 cm. 25 leaves. Off-white cloth over boards, printed with multi-colored animals and the title ”Scrap Book” in blue. Contains 170 black-and-white photographs all affixed with corner mounts, with captions written in black ink. 9 additional photos are laid in. Inclusive dates are 1925 to 1931. Subjects include Ruth and her parents; visits with relatives in Fort Madison, Iowa; school friends in and around Wausau and in Larned, Kansas; choir picnics; outings to local parks and attractions; three summers at Camp Wakanda on Clear Lake near Wausau (1929-1931), with many campmates identified.


  • 1923 - 1931


Access to Materials

This collection is open for research. Materials may be accessed by request at Special Collections and University Archives in Seidman House. Materials do not circulate.

Conditions Governing Use

The collection is the physical property of Grand Valley State University, but all literary rights are retained by the original creators of materials, their estates, heirs, or third parties. It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure appropriate permissions for publication beyond the bounds of fair use.

Biographical Note

Ruth Virginia Pagenkopf was born 7 June 1914 in Wausau, Marathon County, Wisconsin; she was the only daughter of Berthold (Bert) Friedrich Albert Pagenkopf (1886-1963) and Clara Marie Frey Pagenkopf (1891-1962). Bert was the proprietor of a store selling general merchandise located at 1701 North 6th Street in Wausau; the family lived in rooms on the second floor. The building is extant and is still used as a commercial enterprise.

Ruth graduated from Wausau High School in 1932 with a concentration in science where she was also active in various student clubs. She attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. during the academic year 1932-33; the next year she matriculated at the University of Wisconsin and graduated in 1937 with a Bachelor of Music degree; while there she was a member of Chi Omega sorority and sang with the women's glee club. By 1940 was employed as a clerical worker for an insurance company in Buffalo, New York. In September 1942 she married Walter J. Felber (1915-1949) who also graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1937 with a Bachelor of Science degree in metallurgical engineering. At the time of their marriage, he was in the U.S. Navy assigned to an ammunition depot at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Burns City, Indiana. After the war, Ruth and Walter moved to Illinois where he was employed by Inland Steel in Chicago.

In March 1954, five years after the death of her first husband in an automobile accident, Ruth married Frank M. Fucik (1917-2009). He had graduated from Princeton with a degree in chemical engineering in 1939 and had served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He subsequently was founder and president of the Chicago-based Water Seals, Inc. They lived in Highland Park, Illinois. Ruth died in Indianapolis, Indiana, on 23 November 2001. There were no children from either of her marriages.


2 Linear feet

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The two scrapbooks were purchased in two separate online auctions from a dealer in Ilion, New York on 16 August 2017.
  • Photographs Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
  • Wisconsin Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
Robert Beasecker
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Grand Valley State University Special Collections and University Archives Repository

Seidman House
1 Campus Drive
Allendale MI 49401 United States